My Trip to L'Occitane Factory in France - Business With Love
Valentine's Day is nearby and I'd like to speak about love - in this post, not about romantic love (hope your day is full of it!), but of love for your work, craft, love for the land that you're from, love that betters the community, love that fulfills dreams.
This is from my recent trip to Provence in France, specifically a visit to L'Occitane factory. Not a sponsored post, but I am moved to share my impressions😊
So there I was, excited and couldn't hide it and didn't know what to expect - I was going to tour a huge factory of a well-known cosmetics brand that prioritizes local producers, builds local community and has 3000+ stores worldwide.
I have never seen a cosmetics factory before and was cu-ri-o-os! My little cosmetics production business is basically an embryo comparing to this.
So, here we go:
-Tour scheduled for 3:30 in the afternoon. After walking there for an hr (photo of a vineyard I took on my way?), I arrive to be the only one present for the English-speaking tour:))
-We go through the factory and see the bulk ingredients sorting hall, the pressurized ingredient weighing rooms, the heating, emulsifying and mixing machines (stuff I do by hand:)), the filling and labeling belts, etc.
- I am impressed by how orderly, clean, "seamless" things seem to be; also, people seem to be happy!
- The guide explained to me how they prioritize local herbs and raw materials - in fact, the creator of the brand, Olivier Baussan, started it from distilling locally-grown rosemary to produce essential oils and hydrosol water back in the 70s - out of the love for Provence region, its traditions and flora.
- Now, from what I learned there and saw on my way there and back, this is the company that upholds a living standard and pays wages for a big part of population of the region (and employs staff worldwide!) - there is a whole farming, logistics, production, scientific and I am sure other industries that are basically there because of L'Occitane. As mentioned before, people seem content - unlike many production jobs around the world where people are exploited for minuscule wages.
-They also buy Fair Trade shea butter from Burkina Faso and issue a 100% charity product every so often (each year?) where 100% of the profit goes towards a charitable initiative.
Why I am writing all of this?
Because all of this is possible because the founder of the company approached his business with LOVE. When it is not love, pride and and desire to better things that rule businesses, we see slave-like working conditions, degradation of natural environment, fall of morale among workers (be it farmers and producers or managers just interested in profit only).
When business is approached with love, you can see a thriving community, YES, profit gain, and worldwide prestige and pride (who doesn't know about their lavender oil and cosmetics)?
Inspired to take Skincare Co further and make it better!!!
Happy Valentine's !❤️